Have you ever thought about what your business would look like if you were to start one? Or maybe you are in the process of getting your business going and you aren’t sure if you missed anything. It’s important to have a good foundation built up before you even launch your business. It goes beyond your brand name and logo, and it even comes before building your community on your social media channels of choice.
Here are a few things to consider when you are building your business from the ground up.
- Passion: It’s not just reserved for romance. You need to be passionate about what you do, and never lose that. If you don’t like what you do, then what is the point? It takes a while to build a business to where you want it to be and it will be a smoother ride if you enjoy it.
- Audience: Do you know who you would like to sell to? Are you sure that the audience you have selected will be interested in your product? You might think that your audience is teens and the younger side of the millennial audience because you want to be young and hip (yes, I just said that), however, reality might tell you your audience is actually an older generation with a little more life experience. Make sure your product/service offering actually fits with the audience you will be targeting. If not, then you don’t really have a market to sell to.
- Build your network: You really never know who you will meet. Make it a habit to talk about your business to as many people as possible. Not only will it allow you to perfect your elevator pitch (no need to bore them with the nitty gritty details of what you plan to do), but you also might make connections that can further along your business development.
- Business Plan: This is an important one, and one we’ve discussed before. A good business plan will make you think about all aspects of your business, from who your competitors are and what are the industry trends to how much money it will cost to get things going. Add in your vision and future plans for the company and you get a hint of your brand personality as well.
- Financing: Not everyone needs to go big or go home. You can choose to start small with a personal investment and that is completely fine. You need to make sure that your numbers are covered for any start-up costs you might have – that is the important part. If you are planning to launch something bigger, or you have a lot of up-front costs, then you can start looking into your options such as investors, bank loans, crowdfunding, etc.
- Timeline: Once you have your business plan in place and you know where you are going, you have to decide when you want to get there. I’m not just talking about when you want to launch your company. You should set out major milestones that you want to hit for the first few years, and be sure to revisit them to see if you hit them. If you didn’t then you can look at reasons why you didn’t. If you hit them or surpassed them, then celebrate the win. Either way you should create a concrete set of goals for your business.
- Team: This might not come right away. We’re all familiar with the entrepreneur wearing many hats in an business that is just getting started. When you are ready to bring people on to your team, it’s important that you don’t hire someone out of convenience, or just because you know them. Take the time to get a job posting out there and find qualified candidates to interview. Find people that complement what you do. A great team member will have strengths where you have weaknesses.
Once you have a solid foundation, you can build your business as big as you want it to be. But it’s always good to start with the basics.